Our Tourist Train Future
I'm glad to see I wasn't the only one who enjoyed John Murray's My Word piece published earlier this week where he takes a look at what a tourist train around the bay might be like. I'd meant to comment on it the day it was published but, once again, the piece wasn't included in the Times- Standard web site.
Taking a look at the T-S site again this morning, I noticed the letter to the editor someone else sent in who also enjoyed the Murray piece and I got to thinking about it again. Still, the piece hasn't been added to their web site.
What to do, says I. Then I remembered the e- edition of the T-S. I knew it should be there, and it was. You can't really link to the stories on the e- edition, or even the e- edition itself, as far as I can tell, but you can copy and past the text of whatever's on it, so I broke tradition (I try not to paste whole news stories or commentaries) and did that here.
I've included Murray's piece in its entirety below for those who might have missed it. I felt it was not only a fun read but also right on the money.
Yes, that is an oft-asked question. No, that is not graffiti. Someone actually was paid to paint the restaurant that way.
Now hold on as we get up to our full speed of 15 mph. This is the Old Town portion of the tracks.
No, you cannot see the place where Councilman Glass and Mr. Arkley got into their altercation from the train.
If you look to the left you will get glimpses of the bay and the marina. Now coming up on your right is a 20-foot retaining wall. At the top of this wall where it is not visible from the train is the Ingomar Club and the picturesque Humboldt County Library.
As we proceed, you will note on the right the backs of many buildings that you normally don’t see.
Now we are crossing the Eureka Slough. If you look out to the right you will see Highway 101, and on the left mud flats.
We are further along, and if you will look out the right you will see Highway 101, and to the left mud flats.
Here is a break in the scenery. On the right is Highway 101, and to the left is California Redwood’s plant.
Yes, sonny, I know you can ride your bike faster than this train travels, but probably not for two hours straight.
Now up ahead we are breaking into the open and you will notice Highway 101 on the right and mudflats on the left.
Now this is really interesting. On the right is Highway 101 and Resale Lumber, and on the left is Bra-Cut Lumber.
We are now approaching a real eye-popper. On the left are a series of billboards that you can see close up rather than from Highway 101 which, by the way, is still on our right.
If you have seen enough of Highway 101, you will be pleased to know that we are leaving it, and that is South G Street on the right. Coming up on your left is the Arcata sewage plant. We lose our scenery for a while as we wend our way through Arcata.
Yes, sonny, I know those people are jogging faster than we are traveling.
We are leaving Arcata now, and on the left is Samoa Boulevard. On the right is some pasture. Please keep the windows on the right side up, as that giant sprinkler is spraying a collection of barnyard waste mixed with water.
We are now traveling through downtown Manila. When we clear Manila, you will notice the mud flats to the left and Samoa Boulevard to the right.
Here we are at Samoa. You have 20 minutes to look around and then be back on board for the return trip, where 101 will be on the left and the mud flats on the right.
No, madam, it is not mandatory that you ride the train back. Yes, you could probably walk across the bridge faster. Yes, it would probably be more scenic that way also. Do me a favor and take that snotty kid with you.
-John Murray lives in Arcata.-
Opinions expressed in My Word pieces do not necessarily reflect the editorial viewpoint of the Times- Standard.